Inferno on Cape Town's Table Mountain brought under control

CAPE TOWN (BLOOMBERG) – A wildfire that broke out on the slopes of Cape Town’s landmark Table Mountain on April 18 and caused extensive damage to a university campus and several historical buildings has been contained.

Howling winds that hampered fire-fighting efforts on Monday (April 19) abated on Tuesday and helicopters were able to resume dropping water on parts of the mountain where the fire continued to burn.

Six firefighters were injured while trying to douse the flames and nine city residents received treatment for smoke inhalation, the Western Cape province, which includes Cape Town, said in a statement.

Six buildings on the University of Cape Town’s campus including the Jagger Library, which lost some valuable book collections, were damaged or destroyed, as well as two houses and the country’s oldest working windmill.

There remains a danger that the fire will flare up again and priority will be given to fully extinguishing the blaze, said Mr Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the province.

“Over the next few days, firefighters will continue to dampen down the affected areas and monitor for flare-ups until we are 100 per cent sure the fire is out,” he said in a statement.

“Damage assessments will be done as well, and once the fire has been extinguished the investigation into the cause of the fire will be conducted.”

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